NetEqualizer News: September 2014


September 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we dedicate the newsletter to our new Enhanced Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR), which is now generally available! As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

September is the start of the harvest season, and this year once again we are ready with a new release at harvest time. Along with my giant pumpkins (see picture below), we think you will agree that our 8.1 Release – Enhanced Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR) is also a bountiful harvest. Our Enhanced Dynamic RTR is easy to use, but in case you need guidance, we have also updated our User Guide. art_canoe_picture

I am excited to say that our reporting now offers four weeks of historical data. I now feel that it rivals (and exceeds) what we offered via our 3rd party reporting tool, ntop. Thus, it is time to sunset ntop. So as of 8.1, you will no longer see ntop in our GUI.

Finally, if you would like a walk through on our new reporting, to help you get up-to-speed on all the features that we offer, call or email and ask for a “Tech Refresh” call with us.

We love it when we hear back from you – so let us know what you think of the new RTR! Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

8.1 Release is Generally Available!

8.1 adds exciting features to our Dynamic Real-Time Reports, including the ability to graphically view traffic at this moment and up to a four week period. We have also expanded your view to include the ability to graph by selected Pools, IP addresses, subnets, VLANs, along with your entire network. And, you can see all of this in the units that make the most sense for you (Mbps, MBps, Kbps, KBps). We have also added the NetEqualizer Log and Active Connections into our RTR Menu, to give you access to everything you need from one convenient place.

You can use 8.1 key features on your network to:

If this sounds interesting to you, and you would like to upgrade to 8.1, please contact our Support Team to get started! You can reach Support at:

support@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300 x102

Please note that as of this release we are officially deprecating ntop. The new RTR tool provides much of the core ntop functionality without all the processing overhead.

Also, some features discussed in previous newsletters such as Penalty Reporting will be released in a future offering, along with a more interactive Dashboard. Protocol Tracking is still available as an experimental offering. Please contact us at the email above if you are interested in enabling this feature.

These features are free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.5+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


NetEqualizer 8.1 User Guide

Our User Guide has been updated to highlight the new reporting capabilities available in 8.1. Check it out here.

You can read all about Dynamic RTR under the Monitoring and Reporting section, starting on page 44. With the embedded screenshots, we think this guide is a nice way to see what the new reporting release offers.

If you have not checked out our User Guide in awhile, you can also take a look at other sections that cover advanced configuration, such as Redundancy & Failover and our Appendices.


Schedule a Tech Refresh Call

We want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your NetEqualizer, as we are sure you do too! For customers that have been using the NetEqualizer awhile, sometimes with staffing changes over the years, and our new software releases, your collective “NetEqualizer know-how” diminishes.

We would like to help you quickly get up-to-speed on all the features & functions of the NetEqualizer that are new to you, or you might have forgotten.

For customers current on NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS), we would be happy to schedule up to a 1 hour NetEqualizer “Tech Refresh” call with you and your team.

We will set up a webex session to screen-share with you, and walk through the NetEqualizer technology, both old and new.

Contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300

if you are interested in a “Tech Refresh.”


Best Of The Blog

Surviving iOS Updates

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

The birds outside my office window are restless. I can see the strain in the Comcast cable wires as they droop, heavy with the burden of additional bits, weighing them down like a freak ice storm. It is time, once again, for Apple to update every device in the Universe with their latest iOS update.

Assuming you are responsible for a Network with a limited Internet pipe, and you are staring down 100 or more users, about to hit the accept button for their update, what can you do to prevent your user network from being gridlocked…

Photo Of The Month
IMG_0399
Pumpkins!
Giant pumpkins like the one above are a Colorado staple in the fall. You see them all over town – on porches for decorations, carved into Jack-O’-Lanterns, or made into delicious pies.

Surviving iOS updates


The birds outside my office window are restless. I can see the strain in the Comcast cable wires as they droop, heavy with the burden of additional bits, weighting them down like a freak ice storm.   It is time, once again, for Apple to update every device in the Universe with their latest IOS update.

Assuming you are responsible for a Network with a limited Internet pipe, and you are staring down 100 or more users, about to hit the accept button for their update, what can you do to prevent your user network from being gridlocked?

The most obvious option to gravitate to is caching. I found this nice article (thanks Luke) on the Squid settings used for a previous iOS update in 2013.  Having worked with Squid quite a bit helping our customers, I was not surprised on the amount of tuning required to get this to work, and I suspect there will be additional changes to make it work in 2014.

If you have a Squid caching solution already up and running it is worth a try, but I am on the fence of recommending a Squid install from scratch.  Why? Because we are seeing diminishing returns from Squid caching each year due to the amount of dynamic content.  Translation: Very few things on the Internet come from the same place with the same filename anymore, and for many content providers they are marking much of their content as non-cacheable.

If you have a NetEqualizer in place you can easily blunt the effects of the data crunch with a standard default set-up. The NetEqualizer will automatically push the updates out further into time, especially during peak hours when there is contention. This will allow other applications on your network to function normally during the day. I doubt anybody doing the update will notice the difference.

Finally if you are desperate, you might be able to block access to anything IOS update on your firewall.  This might seem a bit harsh, but then again Apple did not consult with you, and besides isn’t that what the free Internet at Starbucks is for?

Here is a snippet pulled from a forum on how to block it.

iOS devices check for new versions by polling the server mesu.apple.com. This is done via HTTP, port 80. Specifically, the URL is:

http://mesu.apple.com/assets/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate.xml

If you block or redirect mesu.apple.com, you will inhibit the check for software updates. If you are really ambitious, you could redirect the query to a cached copy of the XML, but I haven’t tried that. Please remove the block soon; you wouldn’t want to prevent those security updates, would you?

Your Critical Business Needs Two Sources for Internet


Time Warner’s Nationwide outage got my wheels turning again about how we perceive risk when it comes to network outages.

For example:

We have close to 10,000 NetEqualizer systems in the field, of which, we get about 10 failures a year. If you further break down those failures  to root cause, about 80 percent are due to some external event:

  •  lightning
  • flood
  • heat
  • blunt trauma

Given that breakdown, the chances of a NetEqualizer failure for a well-maintained system in a properly vented environment is far less than 1 percent a year. I would also assume that for a simple router or firewall the failure rate is about the same.

Now compare those odds with the chances that your Internet provider is going to crash and burn for some extended outage during the business day  over the course of a full year?

I would say the odds of this happening approach 100 percent.

And yet, the perception often is that, you need a fail-over switch on your in house equipment. Perhaps you do, but if you are truly trying to mitigate risk in order of precedence, you should address the potential outages from your provider before investing in redundant hardware.

Here again, our top 5 reasons for an Internet Outage.

NetEqualizer News: July 2014


July 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we give you an old school NetEqualizer tip, discuss our Hotel and Resorts offerings, and announce our FlyAway Contest winner. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Every summer I try to camp at least once in a National Park. Living in Boulder, Colorado, I am closest to Rocky Mountain National Park, and so that is an easy destination. Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, I spent a night camping there.art_canoe_picture

I could not really get cell or Internet service in the park boundaries. However, I understand that our friends at Global Gossip are working to pull a link up to the busy shop and restaurant on top of trail ridge road at this time. The good news is many of the other National Parks out in the west are supported by Global Gossip and a NetEqualizer system to boost service in their lodging and services area.

This month we profile Sam Beskur of Global Gossip. Over the last 3 years, Global Gossip has rolled out NetEqualizers to campsites and resorts at many U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Death Valley and Mount Rushmore National Memorial and coming soon to Yosemite

Maybe next year Rocky Mountain National Park will have a NetEqualizer. Otherwise, I am in for a road trip!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@netequalizer.com. I would love to hear from you!

Old School NetEqualizer Tip – Keeping Track of Total Usage Per Device by MAC Address

Because our 8.1 Release with the updated graphing and longer-term reporting is not quite ready for release, we won’t do another teaser on this release – we did that last month.

So in keeping with that promise, whatever you do, don’t click on these links below, because it will just make you envious of what is coming out next month…

1) General traffic through the device:

http://prntscr.com/3y0br9

2) Traffic reports for an IP address:

http://prntscr.com/40hvql

http://prntscr.com/40hvzz

So instead of showing off the report graphics for the new release (assuming you did not click any of those links), we have decided to go back in time, back to our open source days, and re-visit the days when I would release cool back door tricks for enhancing your NetEqualizer. This month we offer a script, for all our early adopters to enjoy!

Note: this script is for those who like to get their hands dirty. It is not officially supported under NSS.

For those of you that would like to keep track of total usage per visible device – you can now do that! My Total Usage by MAC address Script can be adapted to do this in your environment.Just save the script to a file, make it executable, and start it up. The script keeps track of total byte counts for all visible MAC addresses.

Once Release 8.1 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.5+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


Spotlight: HMSIO and Sam Beskur of Global Gossip

This month we profile Sam Beskur of Global Gossip, and our joint offering, which we first introduced last summer, the Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO).

Global Gossip has been developing network and communication solutions since 1999 and currently manages and maintains over 300 wired and wireless access networks globally. Their locations span seven countries, and include remote and bandwidth challenged sites, such as the central Australian desert! Global Gossip has offices in Denver, Colorado; Sydney, Australia; and London, England.

Sam is Director and Senior Software Engineer at Global Gossip, which basically means that he can (and does) get involved in designing network architectures and implementation efforts. In addition, Sam heads up Global Gossip’s North American Operations. Sam has been with Global Gossip for over 10 years, with stints both in Australia (their home office) and the U.S.

Sam found NetEqualizer over 3 years ago. Once Sam saw how equalizing helped to resolve congestion issues at his initial site, he spearheaded rolling out NetEqualizers as part of their network architecture for all new implementations.

It has been a whirlwind since then – the NetEqualizer is at campsites and resorts at many U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and (coming soon!) to Yosemite.

Global Gossip has deep experience delivering guest Internet solutions including full property management system integration to some of the leading hospitality providers worldwide. They have established a strong partnership with Xanterra in the US, rolling out full Wireless Internet solutions to more than 2000 rooms and 4000 staff in the hotels and resorts within Yellowstone National Park, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon.

Last summer we partnered with Global Gossip to roll out our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO), which gives our lodging customers the opportunity to benefit from Global Gossip’s expertise.

If you would like to learn more about HMSIO, contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


NetEqualizer Summary Guide for Hotels and Resorts

Summer is high season to take a vacation, and relax at a nice hotel or fancy resort. So, we thought it was the perfect time to update our Hotels & Resorts Guide! If you are in the hospitality industry and are considering a NetEqualizer, you may want to review our updated guide.unnamed1unnamed

This short guide is focused on issues specific to the hospitality industry and explains how the NetEqualizer is used by our hotel and resort customers to address these common issues.

This is a quick way to learn about how the NetEqualizer might apply to your environment.

And if you would like to outsource your Internet offering to a network managed services provider, you may also want to check out our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO), which is offered jointly with Global Gossip, profiled above in this newsletter.

If you are a current hospitality industry customer, this guide and is a great read to optimize your NetEqualizer configuration. Take a look to see if there are features that you might not be using and want to take advantage of in your NetEqualizer installation.

We would be happy to help you with your configuration. If you are current on NetEqualizer Software and Support, contact:

support@apconnections.net

to get help optimizing your NetEqualizer.


And the FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

Every few months, we have a drawing to give away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo.

The time has come to announce this round’s winner.40

And the winner is…

Mark Parry at Wifinity!

Congratulations, Mark!

Please contact us within 30 days (by August 22, 2014) at:

admin@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


Best Of The Blog

QoS over the Internet – Is it Possible? Five Must-Know Facts

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

I had an inquiry from a potential customer yesterday asking if we could monitor their QoS. I was a bit miffed as to what to tell them. At first, the question struck me as if they’d asked if we can monitor electrons on their power grid. In other words, it was a legitimate question in a sense, but of what use would it be to monitor QoS? I then asked him why he had implemented QoS in the first place. How did he know he needed it…

Photo Of The Month
 IMG_0438
Moose at Rocky Mountain National Park
During Art’s holiday trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, he spotted this moose running through his camp! He was able to snag a pretty good picture of these amazing animals.

15 Years to Cross the Technology Chasm ?


Final Jeopardy Answer

Fat Pipe/Thin Client, E-mail, VoIP, Equalizing

And the Question is…

What are  some recent technologies that took a minimum 15 years to cross the chasm from initial viability to widespread commercial acceptance?

Being old allows me to recall, with some historical perspective, the  timeframe it takes for a technology to make it  from production prototype into the mainstream. It is usually much longer than I have patience for. Today, when I see a technology emerging that is obviously superior to what the world is using , I always expect the adoption to take a few weeks.  When in reality, 50 years is close to the historical norm, and 15 years is light-speed for a product to go from concept to societal norm.

For example, Refrigeration and Commercial Air Travel took  50+ years to cross the chasm.  And I am not talking about from the crude idea stage to reality, but rather from the time frame of a working prototype, to wide-spread acceptance.  It was about fifty years from that first, stable airplane, to regular commercial air travel of the late 1950’s.  I should be happy that many of  the world’s technologies are maturing in 15 years, right?

From my historical observations, and a bit of Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/), lazy man research, here are some  recently completed 15 year chasm crossings.

  • Before Cloud Computing we had, Fat Pipe/Thin Clients.

    This was all the rage of a key note speech by an Apple exec back in 1999 at a wireless conference in San Jose. I remember the speech well, as the exec spent the first 15 minutes making fun of Microsoft and their crotchety cumbersome desktop market. Now, 15 years later we can officially say that cloud computing has overtaken the bloated desktop computer, and small thin devices are the norm to connect with.

  • E-mail has always been around? 

    Well it did not take off until the late 90’s, more than 15 years after its wide use in the educational system. Yes, some early adopters had AOL dial-up accounts with e-mail,  but even as late as 1995 , voice mail was the dominant player for receiving non real-time messages.  I remember this because I worked for a company that was in the voice messaging Business (their logo looks like the Star War’s death star), and we were basically ignoring the e-mail market, and rolling out a major voice mail product release with huge expectations as late as 1995.  Yes, we were pushing other forms of communications – Lotus Notes was a big player then also, but E-mail hit that acceptance curve somewhere in the late 90’s to early 2000’s.

  • VoIP PBX

    Also at that same company, in the early 90’s we thought VoIP was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And we were making quality PBX’s that supported VoIP in the early 90’s.  In this case there was plenty of natural resistance to acceptance.

  1. The economic cash cow of embedded PBX’s pushed VoIP systems life-span out a few years.
  2. There was also just fear of using a new technology for something as important as an enterprise phone system. I would estimate that VoIP PBX’s started to outnumber the legacy installed base around 2005 or perhaps later.
  • NetEqualizer

    Equalizing technology for reigning in bandwidth abuse has always been superior to Layer 7 shaping, which incidentally rose up from 1995 to 2000 in just 5 years.  Equalizing has taken 15 years and is still on a linear acceptance curve.  There are several reasons for this:

1) The Equalizing concept crossed a chasm from traditional thinking of intuitive, hands-on control and moved to a heuristic approach which is not always obvious to the non-technical decision maker.

2) The graph below depicts how transit Bandwidth prices have dropped exponentially in the past 15 years. This has squeezed out the more expensive devices in the market , and slowed the need a bit at the NetEqualizer price point.

 
Year Internet Transit Prices (in Mbps, min commit) % Decline
1998
$1200
per Mbps
1999
$800
per Mbps 33%
2000
$675
per Mbps 16%
2001
$400
per Mbps 40%
2002
$200
per Mbps 50%
2003
$120
per Mbps 40%
2004
$90
per Mbps 25%
2005
$75
per Mbps 17%
2006
$50
per Mbps 33%
2007
$25
per Mbps 50%
2008
$12
per Mbps 52%
2009
$9.00
per Mbps 25%
2010
$5.00
per Mbps 44%
2011
$3.25
per Mbps 35%
2012
$2.34
per Mbps 28%
2013
$1.57
per Mbps 33%
2014
$0.94
per Mbps 40%
2015
$0.63
per Mbps 33%
Source: DrPeering.net

3)  NetEqualizer has stayed with a direct sales channel for the most part. The land-grab mentality of investing in a worldwide sales channel and going fast looks impressive but, with dropping bandwidth prices in some markets, is not a sustainable model due to the channel costs.

 So what will come to maturity 15 years from now ?

In my opinion the following technologies will have crossed the chasm in 2029:

1) Automobiles with standard braking sensors to avoid collisions will be the norm in 15 years.

2) Drones everywhere for anything traveling quickly that is not a human.  But I think the widespread commercial use will be 20+ years out.

3) House automation. You won’t be flipping switches to turn anything on or off in 15 years in a new house.

What are your predictions for 15 years out?

NetEqualizer News: June 2014


June 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our exciting Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR), highlight one of our resellers in South Africa (Cybersmart), and show off our updated Libraries Guide. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Zack…
Zack Sanders, Network Engineer – APconnections

 

On Memorial Day (May 26th this year), 50,000 people descend upon Boulder, Colorado to run the BolderBoulder 10K race. Anyone can run the race, and some walk it as well. However, to get your best times (a PR, or “personal record”), I find that I need to develop a training plan and start training about two months before the race. This is always a big commitment for me mentally and physically, but I find it pays off in the end. This year I ran in 53 minutes, beating my goal time by 1 minute.  303809_10100390274244183_885235222_n

As an engineer on our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool, I find that I use this same skill to plan & execute my development work. I am happy to say that our Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR) is on track for a late summer/early fall roll-out. You will see some of the initial screenshots below. We are very excited with how it is turning out.We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at zack@netequalizer.com. I would love to hear from you!

Sneak Peek at Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR)

We are very excited to announce Release 8.1 (Enhanced RTR) – coming in late summer/early fall of this year! This release is special because it includes a new version of our popular Dynamic Real-Time Reporting (RTR) tool. The original RTR provided some basic functionality and served as a test to discover what our customers truly needed in a reporting feature. You gave us feedback, and we listened!

The new RTR tool enhances the features and capabilities of the existing RTR in many ways. Here are just a few:

1) New and improved graphing: We’ve added things like timestamps to the graph’s x-axis, a smart down-sampler in order to quickly graph up to 4 weeks of data, and the ability to show both upload and download bandwidth usage on the same graph.

2) Improved menu design with new graphs: We’ve created a new user interface with more intuitive pages and the ability to graph more data. For example, with the new RTR tool, you can graph bandwidth usage for individual IP addresses, subnets, pools, and VLAN’s.

3) Penalty graphs over time: We have a new graph which shows the number of penalties over time – allowing you to correlate bandwidth trends with penalties.

Over the next two months, we’ll be stress and load testing this tool to ensure seamless integration with your network and NetEqualizer. Stay tuned to NetEqualizer News for updates on this release!

Once Release 8.1 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.5+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


Spotlight: Our South African Reseller, Cybersmart

Deep in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa resides the offices of Cybersmart – a company that supplies bandwidth circuits to cities and towns all over the country, ultimately serving tens of thousands of South African citizens. Some of these customers are wireless Internet service providers in remote regions, where bandwidth is still quite expensive.unnamed

Several years ago, they deployed a NetEqualizer on one of  their regional circuits, and at once became true believers in the elegance of the NetEqualizer philosophy and technology. Not only are they our customer, but they have also become our regional distributor in South Africa and neighboring countries – supporting and reselling equipment to regional ISPs and businesses. So, if you are ever in need of a bandwidth circuit, or a NetEqualizer in their region, please give them a call!

In April 2012, Managing Director Laurie Fialkov of Cybersmart issued a press release about its new uncapped ADSL product, which relied on the NetEqualizer as a backbone of its offering.

Portions of the press release are included here:
…The solution which provides Cybersmart with what it needs is a product called NetEqualizer. We were so impressed that we asked for distribution rights for South Africa, which was granted to us,” said Fialkov.

The way this product works, is it keeps track of the top TCP connections on a network. The NetEqualizer rates the connections based on how long the connection has been alive and how fast it is going. It will then slow the ‘top’ connections down so they are not unfairly using the bandwidth,” explains Fialkov. This solution means that business applications which use encryption are not arbitrarily slowed down (as is the case with many shaping solutions).

Fialkov added that the TCP rules will only be enforced during times when the network load is high. “If we are not under peak load then no connections are equalized at all,” said Fialkov.

Fialkov explained that, to be competitive, all ISPs need to oversell bandwidth to end-users – also known as contending bandwidth. What this means is that a certain number of users need to share the same bandwidth. “We are planning on overselling our uncapped product at 15:1 to 20:1, which we believe is a lot better than the current products in the market,” said Fialkov.

Fialkov then pointed out that automatic shaping via the NetEqualizer has ensured a good experience on uncapped accounts.

Cybersmart continues to use their NetEqualizer today, and has sold units across South Africa since mid-2012, based on their success implementing the NetEqualizer in their own business.

If you are in South Africa, and would like to learn more about the NetEqualizer, contact:

Laurie Fialkov at Cybersmart laurie@cybersmart.co.za


NetEqualizer Summary Guide for Libraries

This month we have updated our Libraries Guide. If you are a library and are considering a NetEqualizer, you may want to review our updated guide.unnamed

This short guide is focused on issues specific to Libraries and explains how the NetEqualizer is used by our library customers to address these common issues. This is a quick way to learn about how the NetEqualizer might apply to your environment.

And if you like real-life examples, you may also want to check out our Library Case Study with Washington County Cooperative Library Services. While the write-up is from 2012, the case study is still relevant today.

If you are a current library customer, this guide and case study are a great read to optimize your NetEqualizer configuration.

Take a look to see if there are features that you might not be using and want to take advantage of in your NetEqualizer installation. We would be happy to help you with your configuration.

If you are current on NSS, contact support@apconnections.net to get help optimizing your NetEqualizer.


Best Of The Blog

Is Your Bandwidth Controller Obsolete Technology?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Although not free yet, bandwidth contracts have been dropping in cost faster than a bad stock during a recession. With cheaper bandwidth costs, the question often arises on whether or not an enterprise can do without their trusty bandwidth controller.

Below, we have compiled a list of factors that will determine whether or not bandwidth controllers stick around for a while, or go the route of the analog modem, a relic of when people received their Internet From AOL and dial up…

Photo Of The Month
unnamed
Las Vegas Trail Running
Mountain trails are usually not the first thing to come to mind when one thinks about Las Vegas. Though the area is primarily known for gambling and world-class restaurants (among other things), the mountains surrounding the city offer an excellent escape from the concrete jungle and lights. This picture was recently taken on the summit of one of the small hills surrounding the Southern Highlands neighborhood south of The Strip. It was unclear why the flag exists on top.

Is Your Bandwidth Controller Obsolete Technology?


Although not free yet, bandwidth contracts have been dropping in cost faster than a bad stock during a recession.  With cheaper bandwidth costs , the question often arises on whether or not an enterprise can do without their trusty bandwidth controller.

Below, we have compiled a list of factors that will determine whether or not Bandwidth Controllers stick around for a while, or go the route of the analog modem,  a relic of when people received their Internet from AOL and dial up.

  • In Many areas of the world bandwidth prices are still very high. For example most of Africa,  and also Parts of the Middle East  they do not have the infrastructure in  place to deliver high speed low cost circuits . Bandwidth controllers are essential equipment in these regions.
  • Even in countries where bandwidth infrastructure is subsidized, and urban access is relatively cheap,  people like to work and play in remote places. Bandwidth consumers have come to expect bandwidth while choosing to live in a remote village. Many of these lifestyle choices find people far away from the main fiber lines that crisscross the urban landscape. Much like serving fresh seafood in mining camp, providing bandwidth to remote locations,  has a high price, and bandwidth controllers are more essential than ever in the remote areas of developed countries.   For example we are seeing a pick up in NetEqualizer interest in luxury resort hotels on tropical islands, and national parks , where high speed Internet is now a necessity but it is not cheap.
  • Government spending on Internet infrastructure has grown out of favor, at least in the US. After the recent waste and fraud scandals, don’t expect another windfall like the broad band initiative any time soon. Government subsidies were a one time factor in the drop in bandwidth prices during the 2007 to 2010 time frame.
  • As the market matures and providers look to show profit, they will be tempted to raise prices again, especially as demand grows.  The recession of 2007 drove down some commercial demand at a time when there was significant infrastructure increases in capacity, we may be at the tail end of that deflationary bubble.
  • There was also a one time infrastructure enhancement, that gained momentum around 2007, this compounded the deflationary pressure on bandwidth. WDM technology allowed existing fiber to carry up to 16 times the original planned capacity.  We don’t expect any new infrastructure innovations of that magnitude to occur any time soon.  Moore’s law has finally cracked  (proved false) in the computer industry and so will the honeymoon increases in the carrying capacity of fiber.
  • Lastly, the wireless frequencies are crowded beyond capacity and bandwidth is still hard to find here, and operators are running out of tricks.
  • We must concede that we have seen cases where customers are getting bandwidth at such a low cost that they forgo investing in bandwidth controllers, but we expect that trend to flatten out as bandwidth prices hold steady or start to creep back up a bit in the coming decade.

Stay tuned.

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